Shelly Heimer is determined to give back to her community.
Having received support herself, Heimer can’t help but get a little emotional as she recalls parts of her childhood.
“When I grew up in Ramona, sometimes my family didn’t have money for food or clothes,” she says. “It wasn’t for lack of love or desire – it was just lack of money.”
But it was the people of Ramona who helped them when they needed it most.
“I have the heart to serve because we were there. It’s my way of giving back to those who gave to us,” she said.
Heimer’s supporters say her generosity to teachers, families and veterans is why they named her a Ramona Community Hero.
Heimer started giving early in his career. In the mortgage industry for nearly 20 years, she launched her own branch of C2 Financial, H5 Financial, in March 2017. Ramona specializes in home loans, including VA, FHA, conventional, reverse and USDA loans. .
The H5 represents the five happy Heimers—Shelly, her husband Doug and their 3 daughters, Karlie Grace, 15, and twins Cadence Hope and Reagan Faith, 13.
“I help people with the American dream. For me, it’s been a very successful business, but more than that, it’s a platform that I use for the greater good of my community,” she said.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of Heimer’s generosity is the Friends of Ramona’s Unified Schools, or FORUS.
Perla Martinez, FORUS member and waitress at Nuevo Grill, witnessed Heimer’s generosity. The Martinez family includes three children – two at Mountain Valley Academy and another at Cal State University Channel Islands – and Martinez has seen how the funds have a direct impact on schools.
Heimer supports FORUS by donating $100 for every loan she takes out. Another way is to host and organize an annual golf tournament.
“They run everything, we just come in to help and the money comes right back to us,” said FORUS member Dave Patterson. “This last golf tournament, we got $20,000 – that’s no change to us.”
Heimer estimates that she has donated about $100,000 to FORUS over the past five years.
“I’m very proud of it because it makes a huge difference and allows them to focus on their mission,” she said.
Heimer also hosts catered lunches for all teachers at Ramona schools as part of Teacher Appreciation Week, Martinez said.
“We coordinate with the school district in April or May, and we get to all the different campuses in about a week,” Heimer said. “I’m able to do this because I have very generous real estate partners in the community who sponsor or co-host a school.”
Treating 250 to 300 teachers and staff with individual lunches is “really fun,” she said. “And I know a teacher can really change someone’s life.”
At every fundraiser, Heimer is the first and last to go, Martinez said.
“If she can’t be there, she’ll find another way to help,” Martinez said. “She is just amazing. She is definitely one of Ramona’s greatest heroines.
Heimer also distributes about 10 scholarships a year, some for athletics and some for senior graduates.
But Heimer helps out more than local schools. Each year, she makes an appeal to churches and schools for families who need extra help during the holidays.
“Adopt-A-Family is one of the coolest things we do. We started with just one or two; this year we have six,” she said.
Families make a wish list of their wants and needs. H5 then hosts a Customer Appreciation Night, and attendees are encouraged to bring gifts for the families.
“When we give out the gifts, 99% of the time, all wishes are granted,” she said. “And on top of that, some people give money and gift cards; last year, we gave away between $800 and $1,000 per family in gift cards alone.
Not one to leave out a group in need of extra support, H5 also regularly drops off “snack packs” at local Ramona fire stations.
“She is really fantastic. When she says she’s there, she’s there. I don’t see any direct connection to helping herself,” Patterson said. “Shelly is just a really great person with tremendous organizational skills and a big heart.”
But she doesn’t take credit solely for herself.
“I feel like I’m just a facilitator between some pretty amazing community members; everyone wants to serve in some way and I just give them a platform,” Heimer said.
Heimer also thanks his staff for their help.
“Lindsey McNerney, Transaction Coordinator, has been with me for five years; she is my right arm and a huge asset,” she said. “Alexis Henshaw, Assistant Loan Officer, has been with me for just over a year and manages all of our client care and events. Julie Crittenden is our junior loan officer and covers me when we have an overflow or I’m out of town. »
No matter how busy she is between work and social events, Heimer enjoys spending time with her own family.
“We all get together for dinner every night and talk about our day,” she said. “I have great kids and my husband is also phenomenal. We are happiest when we are outside; camping, hiking and just being in nature.
“If nothing else, I want to teach my daughters to stand up for others,” she said.